Another tough task for TCU: Smart and No. 9 Oklahoma State

01/14/2014 1:57 PM

01/14/2014 6:24 PM

During TCU’s first season in the Big 12, no team gave the Horned Frogs more problems than Oklahoma State.

TCU isn’t alone. The ninth-ranked Cowboys (14-2, 2-1 in the Big 12) have been one of the top teams in the country the last couple of years behind what TCU coach Trent Johnson calls the best player in the country.

That would be Marcus Smart, who returned for his sophomore season after leading OSU to a 24-9 record a year ago. The Frogs (9-6, 0-3) are at OSU at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Stillwater, Okla. Last year, OSU beat TCU by 18 and 17 points.

The Cowboys’ disappointing first-round loss in the NCAA tournament is one of the reasons why Smart, who attended Flower Mound Marcus High School, returned instead of entering the NBA Draft.

OSU’s top four scorers returned, including Smart, and Markel Brown, who trails Smart for the team lead at 16.8 points per game. The only major missing piece is post Michael Cobbins, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles after starting the first 13 games. Coach Travis Ford praised the job Kamari Murphy has done in place of Cobbins.

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